Frequently Asked Questions
+Where is your camp located?
Camp Judah West is nestled in the beautiful mountains of Cuyamaca State Park, 2.5 hours southeast of Los Angeles and only 40 minutes off the coast of San Diego.
+How does my child get to camp?
Parents will have the option to send their children by coach bus or drive them to camp themselves. It is important to note that we believe that the camp experience begins on the bus ride to Camp. Experienced staff members escort the campers on each coach bus. There is a departure location in the Pico/Robertson area of Los Angeles, in the Valley area, and an Airport pickup for out of state campers. We understand that parents of first-time campers may want to drive their child or children to Camp on Opening Day. Parents may do so, but must let the camp directors know this beforehand.
+How is bunk placement determined? What is the Camper to counselor ratio?
Making new friends is an essential part of the Camp Judah West experience. Bunk assignments are crucial to fostering friendships. Each bunk is comprised of 12-15 campers, grouped according to age, and 2 counselors. Each Camper will be allowed to request 3 bunkmates and we will do our very best to accommodate all requests.
+What are meals like at Camp Judah West?
Our food is prepared fresh daily by our head chef and experienced kitchen staff. Campers are assigned tables according to their Bunk placement and are served by an assigned waiter/waitress. Three delicious well-balanced meals are provided each day. There will always be enough options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Nightly visits to CJW’s famous “Shuk” (canteen) for a late night snack are one of camp’s highlights.
+What is the staff like?
We take tremendous pride in selecting the very best staff for our campers, in order to ensure that they have a safe and loving home here at CJW. All of our staff members are subject to a rigorous interview process as well as reference and background checks. Our staff is made up of High school students, college students, graduate students, and professionals in various fields. Each and every staff member brings something different that contributes to the CJW family. All staff members undergo a week of extensive training on campus. During this week they are supervised and evaluated by members of the camp leadership team to ensure their efficiency.
+What does a typical day at camp look like?
Campers wake up at 7:20 a.m. and start the day with shacharit/tefillot, followed by breakfast. After breakfast, campers spend 3 hours in various activities including sports, chinuch, swimming, outdoors education, Arts, electives etc… After the morning activities campers’ head back to their bunk to freshen up for lunchtime, followed by rest hour. Then, campers will participate in 2-3 more hours of activities followed by some free time. Campers end the day with dinner and a fun night activity. Night activities will range from talent shows to concerts and mystery excursions. The campers will end off the night at CJW’s yummy “Shuk” (canteen) before heading back to bed for curfew.
+How can I communicate with my child during camp?
Everybody loves to get mail! It is recommended that parents write to their campers at least 2-3 times a week. For first time campers, parents may want to send a letter or card before camp begins to make sure that something is waiting for them. We also offer a one-way email program where in parents can email their campers. Emails will be printed daily and given to the campers with their regular mail. More information on this can be found on the camp website.
Campers are not permitted to make or receive phone calls outside of their assigned “calling days”. Please feel free to call the office or your child’s Division Head if you have any concerns. In the event of a genuine emergency, call the camp office. Cell phones are not permitted in bunks under any circumstances. Any cell phone found will be confiscated immediately. With prior permission, we will allow campers to call home for birthdays or other special occasions. Campers are able to make phone calls on trip days.
+What should my child bring and not bring to camp?
After your child is registered for camp, you will recieve a packing list of what they will need or want in camp. We discourage campers from bringing expensive items to camp such as electronics (ipads, ipods, DS or other electronic games), jewelry, and even expensive clothing. These items can easily get lost or in an unfortunate circumstance, stolen. There will be times during the day when personal belongings will be unsupervised (i.e. meals, activities etc.) We also find many of these items to be a distraction from all the amazing activities CJW has to offer.
+Is my child allowed to bring a cell phone to camp?
As we previously stated, “Cell phones are not permitted in bunks under any circumstances. Any cell phone found will be confiscated immediately” All cell phones brought to camp will be kept in the camp office. Campers will be allowed to have them on trip days. Campers are fully responsible for their phones on the days that they are allowed to be used. Our counselors will collect them again once the campers return to camp.
+Is there a “visiting day” during camp? Can I drop in anytime?
One of the most significant elements of the camp experience is independence. We know it is hard (especially for parents) to be apart; however, our experience has shown that kids adjust to camp life more easily if they do not hear or see mom & dad.
Therefore, during each camping season there is one visiting day for campers who spend the entire summer at camp. Dates and hours are posted on the website. We strongly discourage families from dropping in and saying hello. For many campers a surprise visit cannot only disrupt their experience at camp but also that of their bunkmates. We work very hard to make sure that all campers adjust as quickly as possible and enjoy their daily routine.
We do, however, stay in contact with you while your child is at camp. If any problem arises, we will contact you immediately. We encourage you to call us at any time, just to check in and see how your child is doing. We know that sending a child to camp can be more difficult for parents than for the camper. We want to work together with you to make sure your child has the best experience possible.
+Is there a dress code in camp?
BOYS – May wear their usual sports attire for daily activities (shorts, t-shirt, sneakers). On Shabbat the boys should dress in attire that is in the spirit of Shabbat. They must wear nice slacks (no jeans) and a button down shirt.
Boys must wear a kippah (or hat) and tzitzit at all times.
Girls – May wear skirts, loose fitting pants, sweatpants or jeans. NO leggings, jeggings or any other tight fitting pants. Shorts are allowed but must reach the knee.
All shirts must have sleeves. NO tank tops, sleeveless or cap sleeves permitted.
SHABBAT – all girls should dress in modest attire (no mini skirts or above the knee dresses). Girls must wear either nice dress shoes or sandals. NO flip-flops allowed on Shabbat.
The division heads and leaders of the camp will enforce the dress code daily in camp.
Our main goal is to instill in each camper a respect for one another, themselves, and the rules and guidelines of the camp.
+What if my child gets sick or hurt while they’re at camp?
We hope that every camper stays healthy and out of harms way while they are in camp. However, we do understand that at times a camper might become sick or injured. We have an excellent system set up for any situation that may occur. There will be an infirmary on campus with a 24-hour medical staff. There will be a nurse or doctor on site 24/7.
+How does the laundry work?
There will be a weekly laundry service. Each bunk will be designated a specific day for laundry pick up and the drop off will usually be within 24 hours. The laundry service is included and comes at no additional cost to the camper.
+Do I need to send extra spending money?
All programming, trips, and activities are included in the camp fees. With that said, campers have opportunities to buy souvenirs, gifts, or other types of merchandise on different occasions. We suggest sending your campers with some extra spending money that we will hold for them in the office bank. Whenever they might need the money they will have an opportunity to go with their counselors to the office and take out whatever amount they would like.